The freshest crayfish are alive and frisky. To check, stay well out of their claw range, grasp them firmly by the sides, and hold them upside down. Live ones will wiggle.
The red swamp crayfish, from the Mississippi delta in Louisiana, is the largest native species. White river crayfish, from northern Louisiana, and Pacific crayfish from California and Oregon, are slightly smaller but have a similar taste. Soft-shell crayfish, taken during the molt, can be eaten shell and all, but don’t eat the two hard stones (gastroliths) hidden in the head. Wild or farm-raised crayfish are available live or frozen whole, or you can buy frozen shelled crayfish tail. Soft-shell crayfish are sometimes available.
The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.